So I'm gearing up for a job hunt.
The tech job market looks different from the last time I changed jobs. This is partially my fault, as I worked at my last employer for over seven years-- a couple generations in our industry. "Back-end", "front-end", and "full-stack" developers were not a thing back then. I'm not that experienced with modern front-end tech, but it seems like full-stack is where I should focus. Why limit limit oneself to only working on half the stack? But maybe this is an old-fashioned way to see it. (At 36, am I an old?) And maybe that would be over-reaching without much post-jQuery front-end experience. What are these jobs at companies that have openings for both "full-stack developer" and "software engineer"? Is a "software engineer" just a developer that doesn't get to work on web stuff? How are front-end, back-end, and full-stack devs not software engineers?
At 10+ years into my career, should I pretty much only apply for things that have Senior in the title, or is there some X-factor I should have before considering myself "Senior"? Does it look bad if I have 10+ years experience but am applying for roles asking for 3-5? It's rare that job postings ask for more than that, but why would you put an upper limit in your job posting? I've so far never had a job title with Senior in it. I did have a lead role fall into my lap for a couple years, but I wasn't particularly good at being a lead dev, and don't think that's necessarily something I'm looking for. At least not without more experienced leads to learn from.
It's not that I really care about the word Senior for its own sake, but I do care that it would probably help get more money at future jobs if I could say I was. Let it never be said that I was not all about the Benjamins.
Where, geographically, should I apply for jobs? I feel like I'm between a rock and a hard place, in that I kind of live in the middle of nowhere, but don't feel up to moving right now, but also am not too excited about remote work. At least it sounds like a remote person on a non-remote team may tend to be left out of the loop. Maybe I could swing remote work, but I'd need to find a coworking space to get me out of the house. Ironically this might mean I'd have a bit of a commute. The one city that it looks like every developer in the world lives also has a reputation for being super expensive.
So that's a brain dump of the contents of my head right now. How do you, the reader, choose what jobs to apply for? Do you look for companies that have an opening for a job you know you want, or do you choose the company first? How much do you care about job titles or things like "senior"? How do you approach your job hunt in general?